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CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
Netflix is 'On the Nose' with
"With loneliness comes freedom to go where you please, do what you want."
Disney had good reason to be worried that Netflix got Michael Bay! Michael Bay delivers a stunning Action Movie with an unparalleled opening 20 minutes. Within the space of that first 20 minutes, I had said "Holy shit!", "Oh my God!", "How did they do that?!" (twice), "Jesus!", and another two "Oh my Gods!". The killcount was at least 23 at that point and rated "R", and that is awesome!
I love when Action Movies introduce a team like players in, for example, The Rundown. I also liked the numbers-instead-of-names thing too.
The movie begins like a Redbull Commercial in a Mission-Impossible-II-cliff-climber opening setting. The Netflix logline reads "After faking his death, a tech billionaire recruits a team of international operatives for a bold and bloody mission to take down a brutal dictator." The movie introduces them and later gives us a little more on each. [SPOILER] One of them dies so they have to replace him.
The premise is all of them would rather be "dead" to the world so they can do good. As "One" puts it: "Our job as ghosts is to do the dirty work the living can't, or won't." The group has a target hit board of 9 men. Target number one is the "first mission" (this movie). Does that mean we get 8 more movies?! I hope so.
Some things I loved about this movie were . . .
In the opening sequence, when One has to bail out of his aircraft to fake his death, in true Michael Bay fashion, the plane circles around him as he falls (must be seen to be appreciated).
The "glorious clusterfuck" first chase scene in a 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (IMCDb.org) in "day-glow green" is something that not only showcases the skills of the team, but how they work, plan ahead for contingencies, get along. It's Michael Bay mayhem at its finest.
Right after a car full of bad guys gets T-boned by a (rig/oil truck?) and they bounce a pedestrian off the hood of the car, the second how-did-they-do-that sequence was this motorcyclist who takes a headshot and winds up on the hood of their car.
The third unbelievable stunt was this death-by-pipes impaling:
Then there was this guy who got caught between cars in the chase. Photos don't do it justice since it happens so quickly, the cyclist's body is just flung against the Maserati. Seriously, HOW do they do that?!
The next gnarly kill was also hard to imagine how they did it.
The guy gets dragged. That part looks real/possible/incredible.
Once you see the excavator in the distance, you know what's going to happen. As the bad guy (whose leg is stuck somehow in the car) gets swung all over the road, he is headed straight for the bucket.
How he flails about and moves his arms looks real, and this looks so painful but in this screencap, it shows it's a dummy.
He hits and gets thrown back 90 degrees (owch) . . .
And then there's the shoe . . .
Gnarly kills are best when it hurts to watch! On the heels of this death is another incredible scene. This is one hell of a chase sequence. We can see it coming, but Michael Bay really puts his mark on it. It's like the worst imaginable car crash movie that they show you in traffic school (yes, someone's been to traffic school more than once).
Here we see the car breaks in half.
And, of course, the passengers come flying out.
Somehow the driver's still inside and (it's hard to see here) gets something through his neck! Sweet! LOL
It's all Final-Destination-2 good, or maybe I should say Transformers-Dark-of-the-Moon good, because nothing I've seen since has topped the last 45 minutes of the eye-popping 3D of that movie!
Another how-did-they-do-that scene was this 'on the nose' shot through the window at high speed. It looked like tit took half his nose off in real time, but in these pictures, it just gets smooshed to the side.
In this crash, they 2 men in the car come crashing through the windshield. Then, the green car sideswipes them as they try to move. They are knocked into the air and thrown into the wooden slat wall below. Again, timing makes it look so real. I really think 2 stuntmen did this, just don't know how. Looked so real.
There's so many more incredible moments in this movie, but that first 20 minutes is packed!!!! The soundtrack is great and there is plenty of humor. This is BY NO MEANS all the crashes or kills, it's just my favorites.
Some critics complained there wasn't enough story. I think that just translates to they wanted more. You want more. Watch it yourself. The rest is just as good.
And "Two" is a total bad ass! #grrrlpower
At Last—Black Widow
I thought for a while it wasn't going to get made, that they had given up. But, here's the trailer. Sounds like an excuse for her to kick ass. Super excited for the female stunt work on this. Don't even care if it's a good movie, it's MARVEL!
Won't Be Back"
Terminator: Dark Fate
So, YES, you need Arnold Schwarzenegger if it's a Terminator movie, BUT they don't get what made it cool in the first place: MUSCLE. I saw it in theatres when Arnold was a phenomenon. It was like "What's the big guy gonna do next?" "Oh, they turned him into a robotic killing machine—cool!". We were afraid of him BEFORE we found out he was a killing machine, but none of the Terminators have been scary since. Yes, they've been relentless and indestructible, but still ordinary-looking men/woman—meh!
And this was yet another Terminator movie that gave us only a glimpse of the battle we are all still waiting to see . . . How do they still not get that we want to see THAT movie?!
Terminator: Dark Fate answered a question you didn't want answered: "What would your Dad look like as The Terminator?" Not only did the robot 'become' human, but so did Arnold Schwarzenegger. And yet, he's the still best thing in it. Schwarzenegger humanizes the "Cyberdyne Systems Model 101" in the best/worst way possible. If just his exterior 'skin' aged but his physique was the same, it would be different, but we are all too painfully aware our heroes are aging. You can't escape reality there and that knowledge/baggage made it suck for me. As he finally says, he won't be back . . . (I'm not crying, you are!)
There were amazing moments but they were just other versions of things we've seen before. Not original, like the "unscathed" moment the liquid metal Terminator stomps out of the burning semi wreckage, but another level version of that. It's the coolest moment in the film (what happens with the—I call him the "tar" version; tar is not scary—REV 9) when he explodes out of burning wreckage, but . . . it's still like this. This photo cold be high school, guess who's the nerd and who's the bully?
As for the women, Linda Hamilton's character is made fun of IMO. The new Sarah Connor character doesn't have a son that will save the world, SHE will save the world. It feels like they just wanted to cast a Latina to attract a demographic (like the choice of Diego Luna). That's great, I'm all for diversity, but this girl is tiny. Again, where's the MUSCLE?! If you're going to have two other average women, bring on a super-bad-ass-beefy-augmented Super Soldier! But "Grace" is just tall. She would look more at home on the runway. I like her androgynous look, but I just don't get why another opportunity for a muscular Vasquez-from-Aliens type was lost.
Here's a character poster of the tiny and skinny chicks. ACTION MOVIE!!!! <--screaming in Gary Oldman as Stansfield in "Léon: The Professional" way. Where's the muscle? Women are fighting MMA and UFC. Isn't that proof enough, women want to see truly strong women?
Action Movie Trailers
Maybe just new to me, but, here we go, here we go . . . As we all countdown to Terminator: Dark Fate (11/1), these look like the-real-deal Action Movies:
Primal (8 November 2019)
First, let's start with Primal (of course) #becauseNicolasCage, but Kevin Durand might steal the show as the walking wall of villain. Famke Janssen plays (Army) Dr. Ellen Taylor. "A big-game hunter for zoos who has booked passage on a Greek shipping freighter with a fresh haul of exotic and deadly animals from the Amazon, including a rare white jaguar - along with a political assassin being extradited to the U.S in secret. Two days into the journey, the assassin escapes and releases the captive animals, throwing the ship into chaos." And I don't give a damn how fake the white jaguar looks. Rated "R" and it looks like it will have a High Killcount, lots of Gnarly Kills, and because Nicolas Cage, lots of Trash Talking.
Line of Duty (No Release Date Yet)
This looks exciting (love when they "put a clock on it")! Aaron Eckhart in Line of Duty—"A disgraced cop finds himself in a race against time to find a kidnap victim whose abductor he accidently killed."—succinct. I see explosions, stunt driving, and in the vein of Heat (1995), a gun battle in the streets. Director Steven C. Miller's career speaks volumes for his passion for filmmaking as he hit the ground running (10 years to 'the big time'). He directed Escape Plan 2: Hades, First Kill (Bruce Willis, Hayden Christensen), Arsenal (Nicolas Cage, John Cusack), Marauders (Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista), and Extraction (Bruce Willis, Gina Carano, Kellan Lutz). No release date listed yet.
Bad Boys For Life (17 January 2020)
And #becauseMIAMI (the Magic City always looks so pretty in movies, but it's even cooler in real life)
Bad Boys For Life brings back the dynamic duo of
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, in theatres January 17, 2020.
Joe Pantoliano plays that stereotypical police captain (love
that). He's been a favorite of mine since Midnight Run
(1988) and The Fugitive (1993).
Bloodshot (21 February 2020)
If you're a Vin Diesel fan, you're excited about this, if not, you're missing out as it looks like Vin does his version of RoboCop. For good or bad, two words: Man's man. Go see it. Bloodshot. And P.S. Riddick fans, Furya has been announced.
6 Underground—Michael Bay on Netflix!
AdWeek ran a story that "Disney Will No Longer Run TV Ads From Rival Netflix on Its Entertainment Networks". I guess you must be #winning if you have Disney worried. And so they should be! Netflix has Michael Bay. His new Action Thriller 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds comes to Netflix on 12/13/2019, and true to Michael Bay's #shutupandeatyourawesome ways, the trailer looks FANTASTIC!
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD—Don't Try To Run!
Is there ANY movie we waited more anxiously for?! It seemed short, but oh so sweet! Aaaah, Rambo. We love him so much. How nostalgic were the closing credits. Nobody left the theatre. Really glad they didn't kill him off, but, he did 'ride off into the sunset'.
There is nobody like Sylvester Stallone (not even Arnold). There is no character as bad ass as Rambo. I can dream of creating a female character that 'sick' (you know what I mean). Someone who has become war for all the right reasons.
"I haven't changed. I just try to keep a lid on it every day." Not this day. We got to see the lid come off, and it was spectacular! Is that what we really wanted to see? You betcha. A line from Pitch Black comes to mind: "Did not know who he was fucking with." The knife work. Seriously, the knife killings are the best. He even opens a door with a knife. LOVE that "Boy Scout shit".
You're a fool if you don't go see it.
Sylvester Stallone is an Action Movie treasure. Burning it down
. . .
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
Sets Up a Franchise
(Love that poster. It says so much visually.)
An action movie series based on the Secret Service. Yeah, I'd love that. Reminds me of To Live and Die in L.A., In The Line of Fire, Guarding Tess, and a host of other great movies. Current issues and scandals aside, also current sad state of the Office of the President, there's still something noble about the job of putting your life at risk in such a visible way to protect the government, the people in it, and all the country stands for. As much as I love Gerard Butler, Nick Nolte stole the show in a deeply emotional and moving performance. He's weak but he's strong, he's flawed but he cares. He even undergoes a transformation. Never seen an actor with more range than Nick Nolte. Just compare him in Extreme Prejudice to his character in Q & A. What a total bad ass actor. Of course, Action Movie Freaks will always love him for his role in 48 Hrs.
But back to Angel Has Fallen. The explosions, and I mean EXPLOSIONS! were so cool. The sound effects were a notch above. Like when you heard that new "rumbler" police siren for the first time. Explosions are a big part of the Action Movie Essentials. If I go to a movie and nothing has blown up in the first ten minutes, I'm bored. Gerard Butler brought in the new tech and it worked beautifully. Gadget me! I don't know what they were thinking when they took that away from Bond. In this day and age?! We finally got to where anything's possible (even if it's faked in CGI) and they did that massive cop out. There's none of that here. They have something big and new twice, and it's a huge part of what makes the movie work. But what really makes the movie work is Gerard Butler. "We're gonna make a move. People are going to fall. But not you." His character is just so damn capable. And now, in this movie, we see he gets that from his Dad. LOL Don't want to spoil that scene, but I haven't thought "HOLY SHIT!" in a movie in a long time. And even though the trailer gives away the drone scene, it's unexpectedly intense when you watch it.
Also unexpected, they poke fun at white-boy-militia types. Not as tough as they think they are, and totally not tough without a weapon is the message. I really like the preachy, message heavy Action Movie. Isn't that what it's all about? The good guy wins and shoves it in the bad guy's face. Where that departed from this was in Bannon's relationship with his former buddy/turned villain. Bannon indulges Jennings' "lions" moniker. It rang a little false to the character that Bannon sits with him as Jennings dies. But then, maybe that's how deep his friendship/loyalty to Jennings goes. I guess I might think differently of Bannon if he took pleasure or vengeance in killing his former friend (he did try to kill him multiple times). After all, the movie's subtitle is "Loyalty is Under Fire".
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and despite this tidbit from IMDb Trivia that this is the last movie, the ending begs to differ:
If you don't like this movie, take it from me. You're a too-hard-to-please, glass-is-half-empty kinda guy.
HOBBS & SHAW:
Chasing Lethal Weapon
[Fast & Furious Presents:] Hobbs & Shaw tapped into Lethal Weapon's vibe with their cantankerous relationship, plus Kevin Hart thrown in for a little Joe Pesci comic relief. Are we going to get a series now with the three of them? Judging by the box office, I'd say it's a sure thing. Dwayne Johnson is making his way through movie history and re-making/re-imaging all his favorites/blockbusters starring him—How much fun must that be? Loved how he and Jason Statham had their own styles.
The whole movie was worth the chase scenes. The first one where the (car and the) motorcyle went under the semi was my favorite. How the f did they pull that off? Talk about threading the needle . . .
The second one, where do I begin? It had some Expendables feel to it, plus they did a little Hopper smokestack homage (BTW 2nd video below @2:09—that was timed in real life):
The motorcycle riding and stunt driving is as good as it gets. I was pleasantly surprised by Vanessa Kirby's believability/commitment to the action scenes. Really can't get past the eyelashes though. Sigh. Will women ever not be 'pretty things' in Action Movies?
Rob Delaney as Agent Loeb was unexpected and hilarous. A little Die Hard "Agent Johnson-ish" and so squaresville-CIA-movie-agent-stereotype, especially how he looks, kinda Patrick Warburton "Puddy" from Seinfeld/The Tick.
What a ride—Loved it! Can't wait to watch it again. Definitely want to own it. Most enjoyable The Rock movie since The Rundown. This movie creates a worldwide machismo vacuum! Hobbs & Shaw is a "shock to the system":
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE Featurette from Comic Con
July 19, 2019
Tim Miller is fanboy-excited over his directing role in this super-exciting action-packed featurette on the sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate, which played yesterday at Comic Con 2019's first day. This is refreshing and builds my hopes because Miller has an interesting background. He is an American animator, film director, creative director, and visual effects artist with an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film under his belt, who made his directing debut with Deadpool [source: IMDb]. That's impressive! The action in Deadpool was so refreshingly creative it felt like it reawoke the genre. Miller is also famous for creating opening sequences of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Thor: The Dark World." (Check out more videos at Miller's BLUR Studio vimeo channel.)
Perhaps most exciting is this Terminator Salvation game trailer (set between Terminator 3: Rise of the the Machines and Terminator Salvation):
Here's Miller's you-can't-take-your-eyes-off-it Opening Title Sequence for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:
July 18, 2019
Oblivion Director Joseph Kosinski is sure to make Top Gun: Maverick a feast for the eyes if the trailer is any indication. I love the look of the trailer (dropped at Day One of Comic Con International: San Diego today—Tom Cruise made a surprise appearance during Paramount Pictures' Terminator: Dark Fate panel in Hall H 11:00-12:00 AM), and it seems to not give anything away (gotta love that). Kosinski won three AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) Awards for his commercials Gears of War "Mad World", Assassin's Creed "Unity" and Destiny "Become Legend", all of which are now featured in the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (source; IMDb). Loved rewatching these . . . (continues below)
Gears of War Mad World Commercial (2006)
Assassin's Creed Unity Commercial (2014)
Destiny Become Legend Commercial (2014)
Under Kosinski's "Personal Quotes" the first one is something that's weighed on my mind a lot lately: "You never watch movies the same as you do when you're a kid, ever again." Part of why that is is our perception of time. Sure, in the summer of 1981 I rode the bus and paid to see Raiders of the Lost Ark 11 times (the first 8 times I was late and missed the spiders in the opening sequence!). Could any movie make me do that now? Even with AMC A-List softening the price blow of admission and snacks, that investment of time is unthinkable now. Back then, my only care was to do something enjoyable. Now, the 'price' of the time is weighed against everything else I could be doing. Even two hours seems like a waste when a movie sucks or disappoints as they so often do these days. I wonder where my sense of wonder went . . . Movies can still wow me, but rarely do they transport me to another world like The Thing or Chronicles of Riddick. Most of the reason I love Action Movies is they leave me feeling good/pumped up. I'm definitely not spending my time and money on Drama.
And speaking of other worlds, this movie has big shoes to fill, HUGE. And the trailer seemed to get the look of the first one so right with the sunset shots, the military color palette, the silhouettes in shadow, and just about every damn cool thing a jet can do. Another quote: "An established property can be a blessing and a challenge. On one hand you have all those fans of the original that you can pick up with and continue on with, but then you have a lot of people out there who haven't seen the first and might feel like this isn't a movie for them because of that." And here's where the Tom Cruise haters usually come in. They just don't get it. He's larger than life . . . In fact, he tells a story that a lady said her favorite movie of his was "An Officer and a Gentleman" but that was Richard Gere in 1982. Just 4 years later, I guess Tom encapsulated that role for her, and eclipsed Richard Gere. You can't dismiss Top Gun. It is a classic!
In the trailer Ed Harris says "The end is inevitable Maverick, your kind is headed for extinction." Kind of makes you think of our Action Movie heroes. Who's stepping up?
On a final note, this is a Jerry Bruckheimer movie (of course it is) Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media. Bruckheimer holds a special place in my Action Movie Freak heart for his excellent taste in movies. Just picking my favorites: American Gigolo, Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder, Bad Boys, Crimson Tide, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Gone in 60 Seconds, Black Hawk Down, Bad Boys II, National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Coming up we have: Bad Boys for Life, National Treasure 3, Beverly Hills Cop 4, and Bad Boys 4.
Post-Rambo V filming Mr. Stallone is thinking about Expendables 4! Happy 4th!!!!
. . . prequel?
Doesn't this poster make you crazy excited to see Rambo V, as if you weren't already? But I mean, Rambo: First Blood Part II excited . . . massive EXPLOSIONS . . . the bow (so stealthy, so deadly) . . . If you love weapons, sign up for the IMFDb (Internet Movie Firearms DataBase) newsletter. They recently posted about Rambo V, here's an excerpt:
Yeah, I'd watch that. They tell us more about various other story possibilities and then explain "Stallone wanted a 'soulful journey' for the character". Of course he did! The Rambo movies have always been standouts for the social consciousness aspect, issues that we should care deeply about. Yet another reason to be excited that this movie will all it should be. Can't wait!
Read the full article: https://mailchi.mp/imfdb/rambo-v-last-blood?e=97615f2316
Film or Action Movie?
Writer/Director Jesse V. Johnson has been promoting Scott Adkins and their film, Avengement, heavily on his facebook fan page posting quotes from glowing reviews—of which there are plenty, and rightly so. A review Johnson posted from Salon.com asks if Avengement will be a "breakthrough role for fan favorite" Scott Adkins. There are two issues that get to the heart of that: 1) Scott Adkins is already a huge Action Star. He and Jesse Johnson are not hard sells to Action Movie Freaks. We're in. And 2) Action Movies are never going to 'break through' with the film community #becausesnobbery. So, what does that leave to say about Scott Adkins in Action Movies?
Scott is awesome in this role. But then, Scott has always been awesome. Ticket sold. He doesn't need to prove anything. He's already top notch at action and at acting. What he needs to "break through" (and for me that means to be at Schwarzenegger or Stallone's level, or The Rock, or Statham for that matter) is to be in a series of trash talking Action Movies where he's the HERO who kicks ass. Brag a little or better yet, have someone else brag about you (like in Triple Threat), shove it in the bad guy's face—so satisfying! That's a real Action Movie (as opposed to a movie with action). That's how we want to see him. Not beat up/beat down like this. Not bleeding out on the sidewalk at the end.
Action Movies should leave you feeling pumped up. As much of a beating as he took, he should dish it out even more and he didn't quite get there. Should someone who kills (an "anti-hero" as Adkins says is more fun) in self defense and then kills for revenge get off Scot free? Oh hell yes. His fucking brother SO had it coming to him, it just pissed me off when he even opened his mouth. You don't get to speak. When Cain finally kills the big mouth guy (you know who I mean), I wanted him to shut him up so bad it felt like if Cain didn't shoot him, I would shoot him if I could. (Yeah, the movie's that intense!)
As a film, what is missing here is about another 5th of the story. How the two brothers were 'brawn' (Craig) and 'brains' (Cain) from the time they were little, and how their mother treated them accordingly. Maybe she sheltered Cain and admonished or ignored Craig assuming Craig could fend for himself. And fend he did. Making money through violence made him feel smart, especially since all Cain's schemes seemed to fail. Craig ignoring his mother at the very end makes sense in light of this, and Cain not making it to see her in time is more meaningful since she was all he had left (someone who believed in him) when his own brother had turned against him. In being "successful" Craig felt he had become the smart one, and in trying to kill his brother, he forced the real "brain" to become the "brawn". If Cain had been just a little smarter//nerdier, and had a little more difficulty (mentally) descending into the physical side of himself, it might have been a Coen-esque study in brains versus brawn the way The Big Lebowski is, artfully, a study in passivity versus aggression.
So, it may seem nitpicking when there is SO MUCH there to watch and enjoy. I couldn't take my eyes off Scott as he careened his way through every situation. When they put him in the back of the police car, the look on his face at what he had done just crushed me. I mean like a boot to the chest. It doesn't get any better than his acting in that moment. And you did want to root for him . . . We just needed to feel something for the character first—finding out he was double crossed later wasn't enough in order to feel more outrage at what he went through and to hate Craig even more. Also, the ending was ultimately unsatisfying as Cain doesn't get away. That's a Tragedy. Action Movies are not Tragedies. 'Cain kills his brother' is not enough for a movie. And just naming him Cain doesn't make Craig Abel.
No matter. Whether the movie is a film or an Action Movie, the other 4/5ths of what is there is poetry in motion as far as violence is concerned. The fight scenes are flawless. I think only once I thought I might have seen a stunt double but how Scott moves (and kudos to all those he fought against) looked so damn real. It is hard to put in words how much great Fight Choreography adds to fight scenes (Dan Styles is listed as Fight Coordinator) but THIS, my friends, is Oscar worthy. Dan Styles bio says "As the eldest of three children Dan has been play fighting for as long as he can remember. As a child he was a fan of WWF (now WWE) wrestling, martial arts films, and historical epics." Of course he was! His nickname is "Action Dan".
I thought this movie would be hard to watch, but it's so well done even the teeth breaking scene is mesmerizing. Nobody had any doubt about Scott's action skills, but after this, well, this video came to mind. To any naysayers I say:
Shut Up and Eat Your Awesome!
Game of Stones
Am I the first to use that title? It took me too long to get to the theatre to see this. REALLY glad I finally made it. I thought it was great that it was 3 hours. I think all movies should be at least 2 hours. They had some fun with the time travel. It really had that "Avengers" feel. Fat Thor was hilarious, although I feel like superheroes should just always magically be in shape without trying. He's still Thor. I'll take him.
So many deaths, though. Now that Stan Lee is gone, that was part of it. I think what really killed me was Steve Rogers finally getting back to the love of this life. And now, we'll have a black Captain America! How cool is that?! Bring him on.
I had so much fun watching, there was no time for taking notes. There were 3 magic "Avengers Assemble" moments: First, when they were in ordinary clothes and decided to go get the stones; second, when we see that epic first time they assembled in New York via time travel; and third, in the final battle.
Plus, they gave us this epic all-female moment . . .
We care so much about each of their stories, their relationships, friendships, and dynamic within the group, that when they die, it's almost like losing a family member . . . well, not really but I had to try super hard not to cry. The character of Iron Man was really the driving force in these movies. THOSE are some big shoes to fill.
Avengement + Escape Plan: The Extractors
Two great Action Movies to look forward to!
Avengement | May 24, 2019 action crime
"While released on furlough from prison, a lowly criminal evades his guards and returns to his old haunts to take revenge on the people that made him a cold-hearted killer. It's an epic, bloody battle to search for the soul he lost years ago on the streets of an unforgiving city." Avengement is Scott Adkins unleashed. Writer (with Stu Small)/Director Jesse V. Johnson knows what Action Movie Freaks want to see.
Despite the synopsis above, the fights in this trailer seem to take place mostly in prison. Limited Release :-( [Why God?!]
Escape Plan: The Extractors | July?, 2019 action
Escape Plan: The Extractors is rated "R" (as it should be). Release dates listed so far are only for other countries (Russia 6/20, Netherlands 6/27, and Hungary 7/11). Stars include Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Daniel Bernhardt, 50 Cent, Russell Wong, and Jing Zhang. The Stunt Coordinator is stuntman Justin Yu who has also been a Fight Coordinator. He worked on John Wick, and John Wick: Chapter 2, as well as Captain America: Civil War.
Here's the hard-hitting trailer . . . love that voice!
ACTION movie motherfucker!
Triple Threat made Action Movie history tonight. A MUST-OWN Action Movie, it delivered on everything you want in an Action Movie. It would really drive home the non-stop Action if I listed all the fights except I didn't think of that until right now. But seriously, non-stop to the point where it's almost exhausting to watch, and it moves fast! First, there's Iko Uwais versus Tony Jaa, which sets the tone for all the epic shit that's about to go down. Then Iko Uwais fights Tiger Chen. Man, is Tiger Chen fluid. The whole time, you're kind of pinching yourself that you get to watch these amazingly talented people fight for your entertainment all in one movie. The fight choreography (by Tim Man) is nearly flawlessly executed. The speed looks real and the hits look real and painful. What I particularly enjoyed is anytime one of the Triple Threat fought a villain because there's a mismatch on their physicality. This made me wonder if the speed you lose being bigger is worth it because when you connect it's harder or if it's better to be smaller and faster, then you can get more hits in and get out of the way easier.
Don't even imagine the movie starts out slow. They literally blow shit up, and before long the Killcount is HIGH! The guy in the seat next to me (I was pleased that the theater was filled) said, at one point "'U' chained up and shit!" If they call Iko Uwais "U" that's awesome. I had never heard that before. Anytime I was thinking the plot was a little thin, they brought us back in with a twist to make it solid again. I like that they told the story the way they wanted to (not in service to the audience). Even though he is the main character, "U" isn't presented as the star of this movie—everybody shines. (I was writing furiously which makes my handwriting bad, so I may not have gotten this dialogue 100% right, but as comic relief, it was great:)
COLLINS Who are these guys?
COLLINS Yeah, from the Village of Fucking Ninja Warrior Land.
It's so enjoyable to see the three get under the skin of the bad guys. They break a lot of desks in this movie. LOL And the gun play is out of hand! Not even counting all the intro fights, you get to see Michael Jai White versus Iko Uwais, Scott Adkins versus Tony Jaa, Michael Bisping versus Tiger Chen, then Iko and Tony versus Scott. There are Gnarly Kills enough to make the audience groan and laugh out loud. Love that. Tony Jaa does one kind of corkscrew/windmill move that is an I-can't-believe-my-eyes moment; even beyond Marko Zaror's signature move.
I was too busy enjoying the hell out of the movie to take as many notes as I usually do, but there are some things said in the post-credits scenes that were great and I wanted to share. A ringing endorsement from Michael Jai White was that it was the most epic Martial Arts Action Movie since the Five Deadly Venoms. No lie! Scott Adkins fanboyed over Tony Jaa and said he is the best martial artist in the world, and praised his speed and power. Seeing that was worth the ticket price alone. I had to laugh when Scott said "It's supposed to be painful if you're doing it right."
While there are tons of weapons in this movie, Iko's character Jaka wants to kill the bad guys with his bare hands. LOVE that. Seriously, anyone can fire a gun, but if someone's really worth killing, don't you want to beat the crap out of them first? Besides the incredible fights, there were lots of funny moments, and seeing the three stars (from China, Thailand, and Indonesia) speak English made them seem like the big Action stars they should be in the States. Would love to see the movie again in the theater. Wish it wasn't a limited release.
The Action Elite calls it "A near perfect blend of fistfights and firepower."
1 NIGHT ONLY 3/19 (in Miami at AMC Sunset
Place, Aventura, and Regal South Beach). A
THIS is THE Action Movie we've all been waiting for ever since we first heard about it. So many amazing Action Figures in one movie. I have not watched the trailer because I want to see it all on the big screen. I've heard it has like every kind of fighting and that it's funny. I REALLY am hoping for some Cheesey One-Liners rubbing it in someone's face. Yesssss!
Action Adventure SciFi
Captain Marvel Sizzles!
Tonight's Captain Marvel Fan Event was sold out and the theatre buzzed with excitement and anticipation. There's nothing better than seeing a movie with an enthusiastic audience of true fans.
Brie Lawson was perfect. No one stole the show because it was her show. Without laying it on too heavily, Captain Marvel was heroic in every way. What kept it from being bad cheesy, in my opinion, was her human side. This was the first time that having a superhero be human first (and super not just by accident but through a heroic act of self sacrifice) really meant something to me. All the back story from when she was a little girl and she got hurt and got back up again made 'the every woman' such a huge part of who she is that you felt she was 'super' not just as a powerful hero but as a human girl/woman. She was also super because she tried, because she did the right thing.
The movie was BIG on space adventure. The look of things was original, and they had fun with the retro aspects. It reminded me at times of Robocop. The suits were cool, the weapons were cool; even the aliens, forcefields, and space travel seemed original—not the lately-all-too-common hodgepodge of things we've seen in other movies. Sure, the cat was named "Goose" and she was a 'top gun' singing along with the jukebox in a bar, but it was short and sweet and the tie-in only made her seem as cool as Maverick, without the bravado and skirt chasing aspects.
Women are certainly central to this movie. [SPOILERS] The Supreme Intelligence image Carol sees is a woman: Dr. Wendy Lawson who "cracked the code on light speed tech" and had a secret, cloaked space station lab. She is alien but it's still important that she's female. Carol has no romantic interest, boyfriend, husband, neither does her best friend. The movie isn't concerned with that. They keep it to the mission she is on and her back story is woven, cleverly, into that in stages. The movie was very well written and is entertaining all the way through. The special effects added to the overall feel of the movie and didn't seem like filler. When there's a dogfight with two planes it's with two women pilots. Also, both people in the plane on the side of good are black. It was awesome when they high fived. The only laying-the-goodness-on-thick was with the character Maria Rambeau's daughter Monica (11), but the audience seemed to love it.
There was a lot of humor. I loved the script by Writer/Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Also listed were Geneva Robertson-Dworet ("Screenplay by"), plus Nicole Perlman, Meg LaFauve as well for "Story by". 4 women and 1 man. Refreshing that it wasn't just a male director and male writers.
The Blockbuster video store was perfect and it seemed like the audience knew that it would be Radio Shack next. That got a huge laugh. I guess my audience was older because they loved the time travel back to 1995 with computers and the internet showing just how far technology has come. Coincidentally, I had just watched this . . .
There were so many funny moments. I love situational comedy. Earth aka "C53" got a big laugh when described as "a real shithole." The Stan Lee moments were poignant from the opening credits to "Thank You Stan" to his cameo
How cool was it that Captain Marvel (and Carol) was female and powerful without resorting to her sexuality or without exposing too much flesh. Her outfits covered her completely (as completely as her male and other female counterparts), which keeps the focus on what she's doing. Even her regular clothes are regular clothes. No Daisy Dukes or tank tops. She's a total bad ass when she comes out strutting in the first green outfit as one of the Kree, it's her "The Right Stuff" moment and it kills. Later, when she learns to use all her power and she glows with energy, it's palpable in the theater. I loved the movie. Every minute of it.
Brie Larson was perfect!
Facebook Event LIVE
on Sunday 2/24
This Facebook Event hosted by Stand Up for Stunts, Jessie Graff , Stunts Unlimited, and featuring some of the top Stunt Coordinators (including the legend Buddy Joe Hooker) in the country begins on Sunday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time and 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Join the event to discuss why The Academy continues to snub stunts and how to change that.
Also, please add your name to this Petition, shared by The Rock's double Tanoai Reed. This comment by Duke DuQuesnay really makes the point: "I have a lot of friends I consider my family in the stunt industry. IT IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE they are not recognized by The Academy. If it wasn't for these men and woman LITERALLY PUTTING THERE LIVES ON THE LINE day in and day out in the film industry you WOULD NOT have ANY of the action packed blockbuster movies you love. THATS A FACT!!!! Please show your appreciation for these hard working individuals and sign this petition ASAP and forward to ANYBODY and EVERYBODY YOU KNOW!"
Stand Up For Stunts and #BoycottOscars!
Chokehold . . .
Yeah! Female Fight Movie
"Chokehold, directed by Brian Skiba, is an action-packed, revenge caper telling the story of an up and coming mixed martial arts fighter named Zoey. After her father is killed by the Russian mob, she gives up her dream to fight professionally and instead enters the seedy, underground fighting world to get closer to the people responsible for her father's death and bring them to justice." Available now for pre-order on Amazon.com, releasing March 5th.
When I found out about this movie, I wondered: is women's underground fighting a thing? Apparently, and it's not new . . . I was intrigued! And who doesn't love Casper Van Dien?!
The trailer shows only women fighting, no male fighters and lots of women watching, yet the 3 male stars were the only names printed on the screen. I understand that's how it works (use stars we have heard of) but "Story of a woman" . . . Nitpicky on my part, but it stood out to me (as a woman), and made we want to know who the women of Chokehold are.
The Women of
Someone in Canada had great fun getting all these female fighters together. I am thrilled to see another female-focused fight movie with so many big, strong women. The instagram blurb reads "The story of reconciliation, redemption and revenge told through the eyes of a woman MMA fighter!" Co-writer/Director Brian Skiba's IMDb bio describes Chokehold as "a fast-paced female empowerment action fight movie". Another good sign (also from his bio) is this: "Brian's favorite quote from the highly regarded Director, Alfred Hitchcock is, 'To make a great film you need three things - the script, the script, and the script.'"
The run time is 1 hr 38 min. It currently has only 3.6 stars on IMDb—Let's raise that after watching. Order your DVD today and support strong women in film. I really like Casper Van Dien and I'm hoping I will be rooting for his character to help the heroine avenge her father.
The Wandering Earth:
Chinese Sci-Fi Blockbuster
An interesting read on the future of Chinese science fiction by The Verge's Andrew Liptak makes the point that "Just as America is looking to make inroads into the Chinese market, Chinese filmmakers are increasingly looking for global appeal and international-scale releases" [emphasis added], citing The Meg (Jason Statham), The Great Wall (Matt Damon), and Bleeding Steel (Jackie Chan), all starring Action Figures, and this movie is no exception. I can't wait to see this movie, just for Jackie Wu (Wu Jing), but the visuals, oh my gosh, the visuals . . . Released today, it's a must see, even if it turns out not to be an "Action Movie".
The movie is adapted from The Wandering Earth a book of short stories by award-winning author Cixin Liu. In the same article, Liptak explains the plot: "The sun is on the verge of turning into a red giant, and when it does, it'll expand beyond the orbit of Mars, incinerating all of the solar system's potentially habitable planets. They concoct a desperate plan to move Earth out of the solar system to a new star, Proxima Centauri." This brought to mind an explanation from a book I happen to be reading right now called Planet Hunters: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life, wherein a teacher tries relate the size of the universe by building a one-ten-billionth (1/10,000,000,000) scale model of the universe with vegetables, and then spacing them proportionately by their distance from the sun (planet sizes are to scale in this photo below, but not distance from the sun).
With the Sun as a red cabbage, and the Earth as a peppercorn, Earth has to be placed 15 meters (49.2126 feet) away. The farthest planet, Neptune (a raisin) has to be a little over a quarter mile away (450 meters or 1,476.38 feet or 0.2796174242 miles) [pp.41-43]. Using this scale, the distance between Earth and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is 41,306,000,000,000 kilometers or 24,854,847,689,493.36 miles—almost 25 trillion—away (a distance represented in the book as the distanace from Haarlem, Netherlands to Tehran, Iran).
Alpha Centauri, Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri [aka Alpha Centauri C] are part of a trinary system, with Proxima circling the other two. The distance between these three seems irrelevant when you realize (according to Planet Hunters) that getting to Alpha Centauri B would take 160,000 years [pp.57-59]. However, Inquisitr.com mentions that "Using Stephen Hawking's Breakthrough Starshot project, a fleet of small nanocraft could reach the Earth-like world around Proxima Centauri in  years" where a potential Earth-like planet has been spotted, sending back photos so we might learn if it's habitable or not. "The proposed [nano] spacecraft, called a Star Chip, would be just a few centimetres in size with a lightsail weighing a few grams. It would be powered by an array of lasers based on Earth that would drive the tiny probe 'on a beam of light' at about 100 million miles an hour, a fifth of light speed." Fascinating! "Once there, the nano craft could image any planets discovered in the system, test for magnetic fields and organic molecules, and send the data back to Earth in another laser beam. This tiny signal would be received by the same array of dishes that were used to transit the launch beam, and return is estimated to take about four light years."
Looking at the size of Earth compared to Jupiter in (2) and then Jupiter compared in Proxima Centauri in (3) gives an idea of the size.
Giving a relatable distance from Earth to the nearest star puts the idea of moving the Earth into perspective. What an undertaking to try to move the Earth.
Of course, I will have to read The Wandering Earth book after I watch the movie. And, I highly recommend Planet Hunters: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life by Lucas Ellerbroek because it imparts a lot of knowledge in a very entertaining read.
POLAR on Netflix
Do yourself a favor and don't play the trailer first, they totally ruin the ending. Just watch. It's a little like In Bruges meets John Wick, with a little of The Rundown, colored by Michael Mann. It reminded me most of this Biting Elbows video that lead to Hardcore Henry (which had one great action scene, and was an amazing cinematic achievement, but was not a good movie), and somewhat of Brian de Palma's Snake Eyes.
Too many movies have disappointed me of late, so I was pleasantly surprised by POLAR. As Action Movies go, it delivers and then some. And while it is not nice to women, the (how do I say this) seediness and simulated sex didn't bother me like it usually does*. It went a long way to show what lowlifes we're dealing with. So how seedy? They make sure you know someone died with a boner. Mads gets a rectal exam in a very strangely endearing scene where he eats pie after with his doctor, which humanizes Mads' character completely. And strip clubs, nudity, sex, a bunch of sex. Some of it pitiful, some of it funny, some of it hot LOL—I kid, but Mads is in amazing shape and, BTW, nice ass. It's just kind of stupid, like you're supposed to not take it seriously. For the most part, it all works because it's situationally funny. And that's because . . .
The script is great! It's written by Jayson Rothwell and Victor Santos (Victor Santos Montesinos based on the Dark Horse Comics, Inc. graphic novel "Polar: Came from the cold" he wrote and illustrated). There are some great lines. That's missing a lot in most movies.
The direction (Director: Jonas Åkerlund), costumes, and characters are all entertaining, no matter how 2-dimensional they are. What they lack in backstory, they make up for in presence. It's a band of mistfits versus a professional. And the man can kick ass. The gnarly kills are almost as high as the killcount. There were some creative cuts and it was always interesting visually.
As for the women's take on the 'typical' Action Movies "anti-vagina" angle (as AllOuttaBubbleGum.com phrased it), women who like Action Movies don't relate to the bimbos you put in these movies, we relate to the hero. That's what Sucker Punch got so wrong. We're not looking to find the sexiest outfit and accessorize our guns, we just want to kick ass.
What they do best, is make you root for Duncan. His kinda shitty, lonely, boring life (despite the killings), is contrasted with the colorful craziness of the others. They throw in one hell of an ending. Since I didn't watch the trailer, I thought it was one of the coolest things ever.
For more of Victor Santos:
*Nobody really cares like I do about this kind of stuff. So I just have to say what I have to say. It's because the world is not safe for women that I object to showing (even simulated) sex. I object to nudity in general as well. In this case, both Mads and the girl "Sindy" were naked so that's fair. I am not a voyeur so I half looked both times I watched (seen it twice now). What I got from it was that it's entertaining for men. Even though I "got" to see Mads ass, and I looked, I'd have rather not had him show it. Would it have been the same movie without all the tackiness? No. When [SPOILER] Duncan kills Sindy with an axe to the head, that's one thing, but then when they show her naked with the axe in her head, that's the one moment I felt it was grindhouse. Where the trouble is with that is when men are aroused by violence against women. Ted Bundy said exactly that, so I feel validated. (And I heard what he had to say long before it was a thing on Netflix.) Are there women like Sindy in the world? Probably less than you would imagine. The saddest part to me is that women who act that like were often abused. If the world were safe for women, if both men and women were objectified equally, I would still have a problem with it for the sake of morals. I really think it cheapens the human experience to make it so public. If there wasn't so much of this stuff around, men would get out of house and have to meet and touch real women to get off. And in doing that, they might have to build a relationship first, and then it might be love instead of sex. And love is SO much better!
87Eleven Action Design
| Chad Stahelski + David Leitch
Oct 24-27 Nassau
Oct 28-Nov 1 Abaco
Nov 1-4 Eleuthera